Is sucralose really unhealthy? You can find lots of articles and sources online that claim sweetener is unhealthy. And then you can find ones that say it is healthy! A lot of the available information is contradictory. So what should you believe? And can you safely eat products that contain this sugar substitute? We list all the facts about sucralose.
What is sucralose made of?
Sucralose comes from sugar, where the oxygen and hydrogen atoms have been replaced by chlorine atoms. This means the sweetener is synthetically made from sugar molecules. And it also gives sucralose an E-number – E955. An E-number means that the ingredient is safe to use. In other words, you can enjoy all the advantages and sweetness of sugar, without the disadvantages. It contains far fewer calories than sugar and because it is 600 times sweeter, you only need to use a tiny amount to get the same taste as sugar.
Is sucralose a natural sugar substitute?
No, sucralose is not made naturally. As you can read above, it is made by combining sugar with chlorine; these are 2 substances that can both be found in nature, but by combining them you can create an artificial sweetener.
Is sucralose safe?
Yes, sucralose is safe to use. Sucralose molecules contain 3 chlorine atoms. These ensure that it has no calories, but still tastes sweeter than sugar. Because chlorine is present, the sweetener is not broken down by the body, making it calorie free.
Extensive research has also shown that this sugar substitute is safe to use for everyone. Chlorine is, among other things, a natural component of table salt that can be found in a lot of natural products like lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms and peanut butter. Chlorine is also a component of a more complex molecule found in peas and potatoes. On top of that, it is added to most public drinking water supplies. So it’s definitely safe!
Can children use sucralose?
Of course! Sucralose has been tested numerous times and declared safe for children from 1 year of age. More than that, this sugar substitute can form part of the solution to childhood obesity since it helps to reduce the intake of added sugars. These can be found in a lot of products that children consume every day – products containing sucralose such as yoghurt, juices and puddings provide all the nutrients, but without the calories.
Is sucralose carcinogenic?
No, sucralose is absolutely not carcinogenic. Leading health authorities have extensively reviewed the scientific literature on sucralose. And what did they discover? It is neither associated with cancer nor any other negative health effect.
Hundreds of studies were conducted to test this. And what were the results? There is no evidence that this sugar substitute is a danger to your health.
Can sweeteners cause weight gain?
It has been said that using sugar substitutes will make you crave sweet things more. But again, numerous studies have proved that this is not the case. Scientific research confirms both the benefits and the safety of sweeteners such as sucralose.
The benefits of sucralose are:
- readily soluble in water
- 600 times sweeter than sugar
- contains no calories
- resistant to heat
- safe for diabetics
- no difference in taste
Does sucralose cause side effects such as headaches, stomach aches and allergies?
By looking at the many studies conducted by scientists, we know that sucralose has no side effects. Tests in which this sweetener was used more than ingesting sugar, showed no side effects: you will not get a migraine, stomach ache or an allergic reaction from it. It’s also important to note that sucralose is often used in products such as ice cream and chocolate. Do you suffer after eating these products? Then if so, you might be lactose intolerant.
Benefits of sucralose
Because sucralose is made from sugar, it tastes the same. You just need smaller quantities since this sweetener is 600 times sweeter than sugar. On top of that, it also contains no calories. It is therefore not digested once it has been swallowed, which makes it good for diabetics.
Sucralose is also very easy to use. It dissolves easily in water and is resistant to heat. It is also an ideal sugar substitute when baking because there is no difference in taste.
Acceptable daily dose of sucralose
In 2000, the European Union evaluated sucralose in the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF). This shows that this sugar substitute is definitely safe to use. An ADI was linked to it – ADI stands for Acceptable Daily Intake. In other words, how much of this sweetener you can use per day. For sucralose, the figure is 15. That means you can have 15 milligrams per kg of body weight per day.
So if you weigh 60 kg, you can take 900 milligrams of sucralose per day.
Conclusions: is sucralose healthy or dangerous?
Sucralose is definitely a healthy sugar substitute. You won’t get any side effects from it and it’s safe for both young and old alike. Plus, it’s super easy to use. The quantities are also different from sugar so you don’t use that much of it at all since it’s already so sweet. So please don’t be put off by products containing sucralose!